Appeal filed to stop deportation of Venezuelan girl

Appeal filed to stop deportation of Venezuelan girl

The Venezuelan girl was among this group.


AN appeal has been filed against last week’s ruling by Justice Frank Seepersad that the State was free to deport an 11-year-old Venezuelan girl who was seeking asylum status in this country.

By Rickie Ramdass/ Trinidad Express

The appeal was filed electronically on Tuesday afternoon by a team of attorneys led by Gerald Ramdeen who are seeking to have the Appeal Court overturn the ruling of Justice Seepersad, and have their client be allowed to remain in this country.

In spite of the ruling last Tuesday, the Express understands that the girl was still at the State’s quarantine facility at the heliport in Chaguaramas up to yesterday evening.

A date for the hearing of the appeal has not yet been set.

Last week, Justice Seepersad said the State would be committing no illegality in deporting the child who formed part of a group of 26 Venezuelan migrants who were first deported from this country three weeks ago, only to illegally return three days later.

Ramdeen along with attorneys Dayadia Harripaul, Umesh Maharaj and Nafeesa Mohammed, eventually filed a writ of habeas corpus at the High Court seeking to have the State prevented from again deporting their client.

However, this application was shot down by Justice Seepersad who said there was nothing in law preventing the law from doing so, since the girl arrived in this country illegally.

She was brought to the shores of Trinidad and Tobago with by way of facilitation put in place by her mother who is also currently in this country.

Justice Seepersad’s ruling came just mere days after two other judges, Justice Avason Quinlan-Williams and Joan Charles granted other applications preventing such deportations until the migrants’ application for asylum status in this country is determined.

In his ruling, Justice Seepersad had stated that the action’s of the child’s mother in subjecting her child “to the terrors of the sea and the flagrant flouting of local laws cannot be condoned or disregarded.”

In addition to that, he also ordered the Registrar of the High Court to direct his ruling to Police Commissioner Gary Griffith and Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Roger Gaspard, SC, to determine whether criminal charges should be laid.